Abstract / Synopsis

This is a memoir about my rather unconventional path to a mathematics Ph.D. There were difficulties, due partly to university politics, partly to my youth and immaturity, and partly to the thesis material itself – it was, in the words of some of my fellow students, “not what’s being done now”. I had written the thesis entirely on my own, without help from my Master’s thesis advisor or any other professor at my school. This is not the usual procedure of course. Nobody in my department could understand the thesis or was willing to vouch for it. There followed three years of suffering, self-doubt, anger, vulnerability – and determination. The memoir also explores the connections among love for math, career in math, academia itself, and investment in other passions of life.



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